(Photo by Phil Hoffmann /…)
Each week, The Baltimore Sun will publish a Q&A with an area college lacrosse player or coach to get you more acquainted with him or her. Today's guest is Navy sophomore attacker Jasmine DePompeo, the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. The Long Island, N.Y., native leads the league champion Midshipmen into Saturday's NCAA tournament game at No. 1 Maryland with 56 goals and a single-season schoo- record 42 assists.
How did lacrosse play into your decision to attend the Naval Academy?
I actually started looking here because of lacrosse. Once I came and met the coaches and the girls on the team and got to see what the school was about, that really fortified my decision. Everything else that comes with it, I've really come to love — like the military aspect of going to school — makes lacrosse a lot more of an outlet. I just enjoy it so much.
What changed this year to allow you to go from 18 points last season to 98?
Honestly, it's just the different opportunity that I was given. Last year, I was a second-line midfielder and a role player. This year, I had that unique opportunity to step into that spot on the offense. It's really just a lot of working together.
You've been getting a lot of assists lately — five against Quinnipiac, four against Colgate. What are you seeing in there?
I think I have a really unique spot behind the net. A lot of times, that's where I play. My teammates have been doing a great job getting open and seeing those cuts, so having that vision of the field from back there allows me to see a lot more people getting open.
What was the feeling in the room when you found out you were going to play Maryland?
I think everyone's really excited. Obviously, Maryland is the top tier. They won the national championship last year and especially having Coach [Cindy] Timchal coming from Maryland, there's just a lot to it. We have to play our game and not get too focused on the hype of meeting the top team in the nation, because we're capable of scoring and defending against the top players.
What was the feeling on campus when you found out Osama bin Laden had been killed?
It was absolutely crazy here. I don't know if you saw pictures, but there was an absolute riot. As soon as that happened, our entire school was out in T Court in front of Bancroft Hall where we all live. Everyone was just yelling, singing, chanting. Then we all ran over to the Commandant's house and he came out and gave a speech and everyone went crazy. I've never seen so much patriotism.